A review of Ira Nayman's The Multiverse is a Nice Place to Visit, But I Wouldn't Want to Live There

Written by / Reviews

Ira Nayman's The Multiverse is a Nice Place to Visit, But I Wouldn't Want to Live There was published by Elsewhen Press in a digital edition in June 2017 and as a paperback edition in August 2017.

Information about Ira Nayman:

In his past lives, Ira Nayman was, among other things: a cave painter whose art was not appreciated in his lifetime; several nameless peasants who died before their 20th birthday during the Dark Ages; a toenail fungus specialist in the court of Louis XIV; and Alan Turing’s scullery maid.

In his current incarnation, Ira is the creator of Les Pages aux Folles, a Web site of political and social satire that was 11 years old in the first week of September, 2013 (that’s positively Paleolithic in Internet years!). Three collections of Alternate Reality News Service (ARNS) stories (Alternate Reality Ain’t What It Used To Be, What Were Once Miracles Are Now Children’s Toys and Luna for the Lunies!) which originally appeared on the Web site have been self-published in print. Two new volumes of ARNS stories – The Street Finds Its Own Uses for Market Lateralization and The Alternate Reality News Service’s Guide To Sex, Love and Robots were published in 2013. Ira has produced the pilot for a radio series based on stories from the first two ARNS books; “The Weight of Information, Episode One” can be heard on YouTube.

Ira has also written a series of stories that take place in a universe where matter at all levels of organization has become conscious. They feature Antonio Van der Whall, object psychologist. To date, four of these stories have been sold. “A Really Useful Engine” has been published in Even Birds Are Chained To The Sky and Other Tales: The Fine Line Short Story Collection and “Escalation is Academic” has appeared in the anthology UnCONventional. “If the Mountain Won’t Come to Mohammed” can be found in Here Be Monsters. “Thinking is the Worst Way to Travel” has been accepted into Explorers: Beyond the Horizon. Several other stories in the series are currently awaiting editorial decisions at various publications.

Ira’s Web Goddess tells him he should make more of the fact that he won the 2010 Jonathan Swift Satire Writing Contest. So, Ira won the 2010 Jonathan Swift Satire Writing Contest.

In another life (but still within this incarnation) Ira has a Masters degree in Media Studies from The New School for Social Research which was conducted entirely online. He also has a PhD in Communications from McGill University. Ira taught New Media part-time at Ryerson University for five years.

Whoever created the Karmic wheel has a lot to answer for...

Information about The Multiverse is a Nice Place to Visit, But I Wouldn't Want to Live There:

Being the fifth novel in Ira Nayman’s Multiverse series (aka the Transdimensional Authority series, which is misleading because book four of the series was mostly about the Time Agency – honestly, if you blinked, you would have missed the appearance of the Transdimensional Authority, and if you didn’t blink, well, Elsewhen Press accepts no responsibility for the cost of the surgery to rehydrate your eyes), in which we once again follow the intricate web of events that unfold in a Transdimensional Authority investigation (oh! – so we could have stayed with the other series name after all – it’s not easy keeping track when these sentences can be the size of a Sherman tank!).

Why would someone, apparently chosen at random, have their consciousness swapped with someone else in another reality? How would someone, apparently chosen at random, have their consciousness swapped with someone else in another reality? Why would another three persons, apparently chosen at random, have their consciousness swapped with three other someone elses in another reality? Why would the entire bridge crew of a starship, apparently... well, you get the picture. What will happen to all these very confused people? How does the Alternate Reality News Service get scoops on these events so quickly? Why are their reporters acting so dodgy – do they have something to hide, or just issues? Who are the Pops, and can they help? Does the editor know what’s going on, and if she does would she even tell Noomi (our favourite TA investigator)? What was that noise from her office when Noomi was ‘interviewing’ her? Why am I asking you these questions when you haven’t even read the story yet? Or have you? Why are you reading this blurb if you’ve already read the story? Are you looking for an alternate reality, or just alternative facts? This is fiction you know, we tell it like it is. If you want alternative facts you better try a news service... or a politician. Oh, and if you’re looking for a news service, you could always consider the Alternate Reality News Service.


Ah, Ira Nayman has done it again! This novel is already the fifth novel in Transdimensional Authority series, but it is still as amusing, fresh and highly entertaining as the previous novels (to be totally honest, in certain ways this novel is even better than its predecessors). It will fully satisfy the needs of speculative fiction readers who want to read something humorous, fresh and imaginative.

The Multiverse is a Nice Place to Visit, But I Wouldn't Want to Live There is one of the freshest and most satirical science fiction novels ever written, because it's chock full of humour and amusing references to popular culture. Its quirky humour will impress readers who enjoy reading humorous science fiction, because it's often stingingly sharp.

When talking about humorous science fiction, many readers will most likely think first of Douglas Adams and his fiction, because he has made humorous science fiction popular and many authors are in his debt. Ira Nayman is one of the authors who have emerged in his wake. Ira Nayman's humour is sure to please everybody who has read Adams' novels, because his humorous fiction pulses with a beat of its own. His unapologetic way of parodising many things and taking a boldly satirical look at the universe and the world around us is something unique. He excels at writing humorous science fiction, because he dares to make fun of all kinds of things.

In this novel, Ira Nayman has created a satisfyingly complex and entertaning story that will intrigue many readers. Once you get into the story, you'll find it so addictive that you'll be thoroughly hooked by it.

Here's a bit of information about the story:

- This novel begins with a tragicomic glimpse into the life of a Canadian couple, Jim and Marsha, who have had marriage problems and who have a solar powered igloo. They have lost their son in a mysterious way (beavers may or may not have been involved in this tragic and weird incident). One day, when Jim and Marsha are talking to each other, Jim begins to experience something strange...

- Doctor Alhambra, the Transdimensional Authority's chief scientist, is doing research about the alleged interchanging of the psyches of people in different universes. He believes that this phenomenon may be caused by fluctuations in quantum foam...

- As more and more strange incidents begin to happen, the investigators of the Transdimensional Authority have a lot to investigate...

This is all I'll write about the story, because I want to avoid writing too many spoilers.

It's great that Ira Nayman has come up with an original story for this novel. I find the interchanging of the psyches of people in different universes highly entertaining, because it gives the author an opportunity to write about something new. I'm sure that readers will notice how much the author enjoys writing about this subject, because he delivers many fascinating events for his readers.

One of the best things about this novel is that it's filled with humour. It has several amusing and memorable scenes that will delight readers who expect to read humorous and satirical fiction.

The articles and newsflashes provided by Alternate Reality News Service are unique in their strangeness and have plenty of entertainment values, because they are wonderfully humorous. They reveal information about many things, including the "Unhinged Zone", and offer satirical humour to readers in the form of news articles.

I find Ira Nayman's ability to parodise popular culture absolutely brilliant. When I read this novel, I was once again amazed at his shameless way of writing genuinely funny and thought-provoking satire about TV series etc. Just like the previous novels, this novel has quite an amazing amount of references to popular culture, which is one of the reasons why I enjoyed reading it.

I think that the juicy Star Trek parody featured in this novel will put a big grinning smile on everybody's face who is familiar with Star Trek and its tropes. The author's vision of the Universal Space Armada ship Star Blap is simply hilarious and the characters (Captain James T. Pompous and Doctor Isadore Excitable etc) provide additional enjoyment with their appearance and behaviour.

One of the most hilarious scenes in this novel is Noomi's discussion about sex and love with her talking bed. It was fun to read about how Noomi tried to explain things to her bed, because her bed didn't understand what happens when she and Charlemagne are in bed. Everything about this scene felt fresh and funny.

I found Noomi and Crash's visit to Brenda Brundtland-Govanni's office highly amusing and interesting, because Noomi and Crash met HIM (Heuristical Intel Manipulator). I also enjoyed reading about Noomi and Barbara Brundtland-Govanni's visit to a restaurant called The Watering Hole, because Noomi heard intriguing things about Brenda from Barbara.

It's possible that Ira Nayman's humour may not be to everybody's liking due to its quirky and satirical nature, but that's just one of the reasons why his fiction must be read, because he dares to parodise many things in his own original way and is not bound by conventions. Virtually nobody and nothing is safe from his quirky humour and that's an extremely good thing.

If you're new to Ira Nayman's fiction, it's a bit difficult to describe what kind of humour the author writes, but it's possible to say that his humour is a hybrid of elements found in the stories and novels written by Douglas Adams, David Sedaris and Stephen Fry. If you've ever read anything by these three authors and liked what you read, you're in for a delicious treat when you begin to read this novel.

Besides the humour, the memorable characters are what makes this novel special and worth reading. The author writes well about the various characters and their traits. I like his way of writing freshly about what happens to the familiar characters, because he always comes up with something new and interesting that will amaze his readers. He writes fluently and fascinatingly about the characters' personalities and their behaviour. I think that the striking behaviour of Brenda and Barbara Brundtland-Govanni will impress readers, because both of them are remarkable personalities.

It's great that such familiar characters as Noomi, Crash, Beau Beaumont and Biff Buckley appear in this novel, because I love reading about them and their strange adventures. Fans of the previous novels will delight in reading about these characters and their new adventures.

Although this is a humorous science fiction novel, it also contains philosophical elements that are seldom found in this kind of fiction. These elements are expertly hidden under layers satire, parody and humorous dialogues, but careful readers will be able to spot them. I find the author's way of adding bits and pieces of philosophy and wisdom enticing, because I enjoy thinking about what I've read.

Ira Nayman's The Multiverse is a Nice Place to Visit, But I Wouldn't Want to Live There is one of the best humorous science fiction novels available for readers who want to read something original and fresh. I sincerely hope that readers will give this novel and its predecessors a try, because Ira Nayman's novels are hilarious.

My final words are:

This novel is an excellent, fresh and wonderfully satirical science fiction novel! (More, please!)